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Archive for the ‘The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards’ Category

 

Resolved, Never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honour, and to love mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the Golden Rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

Edwards is attempting to apply Matthew 7:12 – “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” – to every area of his life, including his relationships with others.

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Resolved, To strive, every week, to be brought higher in Religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

In other words, Edwards wanted to obey 2 Peter 3:17-18 — “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

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Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor let that pass as a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope that God will accept.

Edwards wants his prayers to be prayed with a strong sense of expectation that God will indeed answer in an affirmative way. He also desires that his confessions and admissions of sin and guilt will be acceptable to God. May we strive for the same thing.

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Resolved, Never willfully to omit any thing , except the omission be for the glory of God; and to frequently examine my omissions.

Sin is both by commission (doing what we shouldn’t do) and omission (not doing what we should do). Edwards is rightfully giving due attention to what he wants to avoid as well as what he wants to achieve. Holiness and being a Christian consists not only of what we do, but also what we don’t do – all for the glory of God.

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Resolved, To cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

This resolution continues the thought of the 25th resolution which deals with Edwards doing everything he can to root out whatever causes him to doubt God’s love for Him. He says he will “cast way” whatever my hinder his assurance in that regard.

That sounds to me like something we should all do.

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Resolved, To examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God: and to direct all my forces against it.

May I do the same thing – carefully and constantly!

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Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavour to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original (origin) of it.

Jonathan Edwards took the sin in his own life very seriously. He wanted to trace it as far back as possible in order to root it out. He knew that sin is to be mortified (or killed) rather than played with or coddled.

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